hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 7:00 a.m. in honolulu, 1:00 p.m. in washington, 11:00 p.m. in syria. thanks for joining us wherever you are in the world. donald trump admits president obama was born in the united states finally. trump used the so-called birther issue to launch his political career. for days his campaign conceded the president was born in honolulu, hawaii. just a short time ago, trump said this -- >> president barack obama was born in the united states, period. now we all want to get back to making america strong and great again. thank you. >> hillary clinton today slammed trump for leading what's called
the birther movement accusing him of trying to delegitimize the country's first african-american president. >> he is feeding in to the worst impulses, the bigotry and bias that lurks in our country. barack obama was born in america, plain and simple, and donald trump owes him and the american people an apology. >> and just moments ago she tweeted what trump just did is a disgrace. president obama, meanwhile, also weighed in this morning saying it's time to focus it on more important issues. >> i was pretty confident about where i was born. i think most people were as well. and my hope would be that the presidential election reflects more serious issues than that. >> trump's admission about president obama's birthplace
came at the very end of an event honoring veterans and unveiling his new hotel right here in washington, d.c. cnn correspondent joining us from outside the second stop. the republican national committee headquarters in washington. sunlen, so many trying to put this to rest, why did trump decide to do it in such an abrupt manner? >> reporter: it was really abrupt, wolf and coming at an odd place at the tail end of his event today but certainly pressure her been mounting for him to do so. you had people like ben carson, one of his top surrogates he believes donald trump should apologize for his role in the birther movement and thinks it's hurting him african-americans and yes, donald trump believes barack obama was born here in the u.s. but such a big gap from aides recently and what donald trump was actually saying himself. so a lot of pressure for him to
really come out today and say those exact words. today was in essence donald trump trying to check that box and likely th lly check that boe they came to the debate with hillary clinton now over a week away. certainly the trump campaign not wanting this to turn into a central idea coming out of that debate, but certainly it was interesting today to see donald trump almost amplify it more even though said yes, donald trump is born here in the u.s.'she shifted blame on hillary clinton's 2008 campaign saying they were the role of the birther movement that they really started this birther movement, although we should definitely note there's no evidence that supports that claim. wolf? >> after so many years of refusing to utter the words, he did say president barack obama was born in the united states, period. sunlen, thank you very much. what donald trump admitted today is the exact opposite of anything he's said in the past. here are a few of the times
donald trump publicly questioned president obama's place of birth over the last five years. >> why doesn't he show his birth certificate? you know what, i wish he would. i think it's a table pale hanging over him. >> i thuot he was probably born in this country and now i have a much bigger doubt than i did before. >> barack obama should end this and he should provide the public with a birth sir ticertificate. >> if barack obama opens up and gives his college records and applications, and if he gives his passport applications and records, i will give to a charity of his choice a check, immediately for $5 million. >> he is a citizen. he produced that long form birth certificate. >> well, a lot of people don't agree with you and a lot of people feel it wasn't a proper certificate. >> perhaps he was born in this country, and that has a very big chance, or, you know, who knows?
>> he gave a birth certificate. whether or not that was a real certificate, because a lot of people question it i certainly question it, now all we have to do is find out whether or not it was real. >> let's talk a little more about this. i want to bring in cnn's tom foreman, fact checking both donald trump and his campaign statements on this. what have you found? >> think about this half-minute statement he said this morning and the basic claim to it that the birther issue was first raised by hillary clinton's '08 campaign. that's the first part of his statement there. well, here's the problem with that. while there were people who supported hillary clinton back in '08 who started nibbling at this issue, it was quickly picked up by republicans, and there is no evidence hillary clinton or her team ever pushed the birther story. there is simply none out there to back this as much as people may wish it would be. here's the second part of his claim. in 2011 mr. trump was finally able to bring his ugly incident
to conclusion by successfully compelling president obama to release his birth certificate. what his campaign said thursday, echoed it in a short statement today saying he put an end to it. the problem, that's 2011. in 2008, president obama released his certification of live birth, and then in 2011, president obama released his long form birth scertificate an yet it wasn't over specifically, because mr. trump wouldn't let it be. you played all the clipserer. wolf what he said to you earlier this year in january. who knows about obama. who knows. who knows. who cares right now? i have my own theory on obama. some day i'll write a book. i will write another book and it will do very successfully. bottom line, two things this morning trying to clear up the controversy, both of which were false. wolf? >> and let me play that clip of what he said to me in january of this year, 2016. listen to this. >> you know, your critics are saying that you're doing a ted cruz what you tried to do to
president obama where he was born, his birth certificate. >> who knows about obama? >> hits mother was a u.s. citizen born in kansas. >> can i tell what you? who knows? who knows. who cares right now. we're talking about something else. okay? i mean i have my own theory on obama. some day i'll write a book. i'll do another book. it will do very successfully. >> this suggests he did not drop the issue in 2011, tom, as his campaign claims. >> no. absolutely did not. he kept it alive. year after year. kept bringing it up. uchb a nod and wink, saying, gee, i don't know, but kept that issue out there and driving folks to believe that barack obama was not born in the united states, when barack obama was born in the united states. end of story. >> tom foreman, thank you very much. let's discuss donald trump's birther reversal with our panel. joins us chief capitol hill pan lift gloria borger and dana bash and senior washington don't jeff zeleny. dana, what does hillary clinton have to gain by this whole issue
coming to the fore right now? >> what does she have to gain? she has to gain a lot which is why she seized on it within, i think, five minutes of this "washington post" story, where donald trump was interviewed, and they posted it yesterday, and he wouldn't say what he said today, which was, is that barack obama was born in the u.s. that came out and they amended her speech last night very quickly, because she, and they believe in brooklyn, that this is case in point of the argument that they've been trying to make which is, do you really want this guy in your living room and representing the united states for the next four years, when he pushes and peddles conspiracy theories that are just patently and blatantly false? what the trump campaign, i know just in talking to sources what they were hoping to do by not only releasing the straight fat from jason miller last night, in principle, donald trump, say
something to, to put an end to the questions and be able to talk about issues they think help with persuadable voters. good luck. it's not happening now, because he made these two sentences. one of which we know is not right about hillary clinton starting this answers didn't take any questions. the obvious questions, why did you change? when you just, know, even as early as february of last year said you're not so sure. why now? will you apologize? things that he's going to be asked whether it's by an interviewer, at a press pool or on the debate stage. so it's not over. >> you know he'll say i've already said enough. there are much more important issues, national security issues, i'm not going beyond what i've already said, let's move on. >> but you cannot erase histories with a sentence. it's just a lot of years here of pot stirring, of conspiracy theories, and i don't think any political candidate, particularly one running for the presidency, can say, never mind.
i don't believe that anymore 237 there was an opportunity for him to say, okay. it's over. it's when the president released his birth certificate in april of 2011, and he didn't do that. >> re refused. >> what was intervening here that suddenly made him decide? i would argue it was politics. and that he's behaving like a politician, and that his smart political advisors were saying to him, as dana said, you've got to get this out of the way. we don't want it to come up at the debates. guess what? now, i think, because of their candidate and the way he insisted on handling this, it's guaranteed to come up at the debate. >> hillary clinton had strong words for donald trump this morning. let me play the clip. >> for five years, he has led the birther movement to de-legitimize our first black president. his campaign was founded on this outrageous lie. there is no erasing it in history.
>> and now you're going to get a lot of saying acknowledged the president was born in the united states. wouldn't it be frappropriate to apologize to the president? >> sure, and if we know donald trump, how he's conducted himself over all this time, he doesn't apologize, and the president is not asking for an apology, but this has really opened up something that most democrats actually thought had gone away. this is ending the week for hillary clinton which has been a tough week. be honest here in potentially a very good way politically speaking here. the whole argument has been trying to show that donald trump simply is unacceptable for the presidency. he doesn't have the judgment or the temperament, in her words. i mean, this episode today will not affect his supporters at all. it absolutely will not. but there was a sense among democrats there was growth for donald trump, that he actually has been staying on message more. this interrupts all that. the super pac supporting the clinton campaign already on the
air and social media with the six figure to african-american voters in particular. one worry in clinton world that's not firing up the obama coalition. donald trump did that today. he did that himself with all the words he's been saying the last five years. he did it more than she could, but they're going to be fired up, guaranteed. >> and in may of 2012, i had a phone interview with donald trump, and this was shortly after the statement of hawaii officially released his birth scertificate and we had this exchange. >> i don't understand why you're doubling down on this birther issue after the state of hawaii formally says, this is the legitimate birth certificate. he was born in hawaii. why are you going through all of this, donald? >> a lot of people don't agree with that birth certificate and do know think it's awe then the kit. >> if the state of hawaii says this is official, he was born in hawaii on this date, here it is, why do you deny that? >> a lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate. >> can you say that if --
>> many people do not think it was authentic. >> he was clearly doubling down on that, and he suggested even in the days that followed he was going to further investigate this alleged birth certificate. >> which didn't happen. look, from the beginning of this presidential campaign, when he finally took the plunge, he didn't want to talk about it. he really didn't. and i mean, you tried to press him on it. a couple of months ago. as you played, you know, he tried to brush it off. because, you know, that time in history and that moment for him to get on the political stage had come and gone, and he gets that innately, but the bottom line is that he still gets asked periodically about it. things happen that bring it up, and that's exactly what happened in the past week, but particularly with this "washington post" interview, and that's why they knew it was going to keep coming up and now -- and i can't underscore enough how hopeful the trump campaign, that they were, that
this was going to put an end to it and donald trump himself said, born in the united states, period. i don't think there's a period there. >> because even before the state of hawaii released the birth certificate i pointed out to donald trump two, not one, but two honolulu daily newspapers contemporaneously had published birth announcements that barack hussein obama was born on august, 1961 at this hospital, and he suggested to me, he said, well, anybody could have put them to announcements in the newspaper. >> and this was a lie and conspiracy theory, a lie, whatever wah unt to call it, working for him, for years. i mean it is the thing that catapulted him to a different level on the national stage. and into the political arena. so the same thing that had taken him high to that level was suddenly threatening to derail his campaign right now. and that's why they had to make a shift. it was political expediency. do we know why donald trump
changed his mind? any new piece of information out there that suddenly would explain this? no. the only piece of information we have is that he's running for the presidency. he's trying to go after african-american voters. younger voters. persuadable voters who don't want to vote for someone they consider intolerant or racist in any way, shape or form, and so his campaign staff, which is smart -- >> one thing that changes, 53 days before the election. the only thing that changes. 53 days before the election. i've been in hawaii, look asd the newspapers in the old microfiche, the honolulu advertiser, other paper at the time, printed at the time. no one would have assumed he would be the president of the united states. more interestingly today how he wrapped himself with veterans at that convenient, and, yes, some supporters see this as the media piling on. why are we still raising questions about this? donald trump bears the responsibility for this still being an issue and by wrapping
himself with veterans i know some liberal veteran associations are furious about this, and they think it was inappropriate entirely here. so i think that that will be discussed in the days ahead as well. >> inappropriate that he made ace announcement the president was born in the united states as the end of this -- this i guess it was some sort of event honoring all of these u.s. military personnel? >> exactly. very odd way to do, i think. certainly a far less grandiose and all the other statements. i remember being in new hampshire the day there was a separate screen, he flew in on his plane the day the president was in a briefing room. for donald trump to finally put an exclamation point on this is about as low key as he could have done it. >> on the veterans, not just honoring them, and that's important, we should all commend that, it was a political event. he had, you know, retired military officer after officer decorated, come out and what their speeches were about, why donald trump ho be president. what is was about. he was -- in donald trump style
he is, sort of the master of media. teasing it and ended it were you they. >> a quick break. what surprised me is donald trump succumbed to the enormous pressure from within his own campaign to do this. he's not the type of guy, we've known him for some time that really succumbs to that kind of pressure but his advisors saying you've got to do this, utter these words. hard for you to do it but you've got to do it. >> but he didn't say he made a mistake and didn't apologize to the president. >> the words alone in contrast to everything else he had been saying so far. >> true. >> that's not an easy thing for donald trump to do. stand by. donald trump spent years trying to discress ed president obama. why did he decide today to hit the brakes and throw it into reverse? we'll ask a senior adviser to the campaign. stay with us. l/certified pre-owd lexus comes with a 161-point inspection, 24/7 roadside assistance plan, 2 years or 20,000 miles of complimentary maintenance,
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we're following breaking news. donald trump announcing he now believes president obama was born in the united states. talk about that with senior adviser to the trump campaign. former u.s. congressman from georgia jack kingston. congressman thanks for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> why do you think he finally
uttered the words barack obama was born in the united states, period. >> i think the press has been driving this issue and we want to talk about jobs and want to talk about what he's been doing in the inner city and the outreach to the african-american community. as you know he's gone to milwaukee, gone to baton rouge, gone to detroit, went to mexico, to flint, michigan. he's not afraid to go to the tough places and talk to tough audiences and talk about issues not traditionally republican, and with the press bringing this up and up he really wants to get on the issues of jobs, and safety and education, and things that do -- >> this is the first time he's uttered those words going back all of these years. it was certainly not an easy thing for him to do, to finally acknowledge that the president was born in honolulu. >> you know, he had quit talking about it, but it still came back up. it does not show up in our polls but a question that press has kept asking. so to talk about jobs and talk about his platform that he unveiled in detroit about safety
in the inner city, education, job opportunities, this clears the decks, and you know, hillary clinton doesn't have much to talk about in this area, if you look at the economy -- >> was he under enormous pressure from within his campaign from senior advisors, do this before the debate? get it over with and move on, as difficult at uttering those words will be for you? whereas, top advisers, you and others, saying, just do it. >> i think there was some discussion. >> because we heard from kellyanne conway last week. he believes the president was born in the united states. we heard from dr. ben carson that he should go a step further and apologize to the president of the united states. rudy giuliani 1said he believes the president was born in the united states. clearly pressure to utter those words? >> him not talking about it, but his advisers saying publicly, listen, he believes the president's an american citizen, was born in america, but his spags to talk about jobs. you know, he's an entrepreneur,
employed thousands of people and made a lot of people wealthy, and given them lots of opportunities and launched other careers. so what donald trump wants to talk about for the next 50 days is those opportunities in a new america a new economy, and not a third term of what we've been seeing under barack obama and hillary clinton . >> in general, asked about the birthplace of president obama he said, i don't want to talk about it. this is the no the time to talk about it. except when i interviewed him back in january he did say this after saying, i don't want to talk about it anymore. who cares. he did say, i have my own theory on obama. some day -- some day i'll get -- i'll write a book. i'll do another book, and it will be very successful. so even then, this year, he was kn not convinced the president was born in hawaii? >> well, i think he was convinced. that's why he quit talking about it. >> why would he say that, i have my own theory on obama? >> well, i'm not sure if he was
referring to where he was born in that particular instance. >> that's what we were talking about. this birthplace. >> but i think, again, it really has not shown up in polling, but the reality is, she a republican candidate who is serious. it's not about show, it's not about suburban voters. he's serious about getting the african-american vote. >> here's the problem. that because, you know he was so active in this spreading this birther issue, if you take a look at even a recent poll that we conducted about 20% of the american public is with him. they're not convinced the president was born in the united states. this is the president, he's been president of the united states now almost eight years. our first african-american president. and 20% of the public, maybe because of donald trump's utterances over the years, is convinced, maybe he wasn't born in the united states? >> well, i do want to say, you know, it was a memo from mark penn, hillary clinton's advisers, march 19, 2007, that
raise the issue -- >> we'll we're going to talk about hillary clinton's campaign manager in 2006-2007, and talk about what mark penn wrote and all of that, but there was never, ever, any evidence that hillary clinton promoted this birther issue. >> i think the idea it was raised was from the smart/penn 2007 memo. i had the honor representing a district 30% african-american. i live in a town 50% african-american in savannah, georgia. been in politics there 30 years, and if an issue is an issue among one demographic, then you as a responsible candidate need to respond to it, and i think that's what we saw today. we saw a leader who said, you know what? i've been listening. i want to put this to an end so i can talk about jobs and i can talk about my vision versus hillary clinton's vision when it comes to african-americans and inner city and america in general.
>> you have no doubt where the president was born? you personally? >> no, i don't. only i wish i was, like, the previous guest who got to go to hawaii just to, for the assignment, but i know. a delegate from guam, america samoa, we are good friends in congress and he's spoke ton n t about this. this campaign is about jobs, opportunities, about national security and that's what i would like the debate to be about monday, and i think most americans would. >> you know donald trump, it wasn't easy for him to acknowledge publicly before the whole world, i was wrong? >> we are seeing the soft side of donald trump and it's a good thing. >> senior adviser to the trump campaign. thanks for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. less than eight weeks from the election and breaking news we're following. donald trump now admits he believes the president is not only an american citizen but born in the united states and is accusing hillary clinton and her 2008 campaign of actually starting the whole birther controversy. hillary clinton's former
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the republican national committee's headquarters presumably for meetingses with reince priebus and others. trump insists the birther movement was first started by hillary clinton at her 2008 campaign. trump's plame proven to be false. the clinton camp responding, brian fallon, trump doubled down on lie-filled statements from his campaign last night and took no responsibility for his bigoted attacks on our president. let's get reaction from patti doyle, hillary clinton's presidential campaign manager back in 2007 and 2008. thanks for joining us. >> thanks so much for having me, wolf. >> all right. just tweeted a couple tweets. let me put them up on the screen. hillary clinton or her '08 campaign did not start birther movement, period. i was there. then another tweet. i fired the rogue and i called david plouffe to apologize for
said rogue. what does that mean? someone supporting hillary clinton was trying to promote this so-called birther issue? what happened? >> so absolutely the
campaign nor hillary did not start the birther movement, period, end of the story there. there was a volunteer coordinator, i believe in late 2007, i think in december, one of our volunteer coordinators in one of the counties in iowa. i don't recall whether they an actual paid staffer, but they did forward an e-mail that promoted the conspiracy. >> the birther conspiracy? >> yeah. hillary made the decision immediately to let that person go. we let that person go. and it was so, you know, beyond the pale, wolf, and so not worthy of the kind of campaign that certainly hillary wanted to
run or that we as a staff wanted to run that i called david plouffe, obviously managing barack obama's campaign, in '07, to apologize, and
basically say that this is, was not coming from us. it was a rogue volunteer coordinator and this was not the kind of campaign we wanted to run and david graciously accepted my apology. >> what about mark penn? the democratic pollster, that a lot of us know here in washington. what was he promoting in the memorandum he put forward? >> i don't -- can you be specific about the memorandum you're talking about? he wrote many memorandum? >> a memorandum that was supposedly raising not necessarily the birthplace of then senator barack obama, but raising other questions about his religion stuff like that. it was sort of a dark-filled
memorandum circulating at the time. you know mark penn. >> i do know mark penn very well. obviously a chief strat jegist r the '08 campaign. we worked together on the '08 campaign. i don't know what he wrote but certainly the '08 campaign never promoted the birther conspiracy. whether we took whatever advice was in the memorandum is clear by the campaign we ran. we did not -- use it at that time. >> yeah. everything i have looked -- i've looked into this pretty thoroughly. there's never a reference to the birther issue as all in that memorandum. there are other dark things. by all accounts that memorandum never went anywhere and was rejected and no one in any serious capacity in the hillary clinton campaign started or circulated or tried to promote the birther issue. that's a very, very sensitive
issue, because you hear the donald trump campaign now saying this whole thing started with your campaign, and you're flatly benighing that? >> absolutely. and the one person who did promote it, again it was a volunteer coordinator and i didn't even speak to the fact whether that person was on actual payroll, hillary made the decision to let that person go immediately. >> patti solis doyle, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you so much. >> this sounds the battle may have died down, but the outcry in syria is simply overwhelming. cnn is inside aleppo and why aid isn't getting to those in such desperate need.
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the members of the congressional black caucus are speaking out right now. there's fred meeks, the congressman speaking out on donald trump's admission, finally, that the president of the united states was born in the united states. >> -- thank them for their being heroes in fighting and defending this country, and they have the right, because this is the greatest country this planet has ever seen, they have a right to choose whatever candidate they want, but he used them, basically, to be part of his con to the american people. so what he did then at the very end is just say that another lie, an out and out lie, which he's got to be called on, because this is not the first time he has lied. he continues to lie. so to lie and say that the birther movement was started by
hillary clinton and he was finishing it, and that he was born in america and then walk off has got to stop. he's lied and he's divided this country enough. he lied about muslims, saying that he saw thousands of them when the world trade center went down. he's lied. he's lied about mexicans. he's lied about women. and members of the congressional black caucus' pac are not going to take it anymore. this is ridiculous, and if he thinks that african-americans or any american, because i believe that this should be an insult to all americans, to every one of us. this should not continue to happen. so we felt it was important that the members of the congressional black caucus come out and let
everyone know where we stand and were we feel about it. so with that i'd like to bring up the chairman of the congressional black caucus. as i said, i want to be clear on this. i'm chairman of the pac. this has not to do with anything else but the pac, but we have a person who's a member of the board of the pac who is the chair of the congressional black caucus. nothing to do with the foundation, but chair of the congressional black caucus, from the gentleman from north carolina, g.k. butterfield. >> thank you, congressman meeks, and let me thank all of you from the press for responding so quickly. this was breaking news about 90 minutes ago and we sent out the invitation and you have responded. so thank you very much. i am, indeed, the chairman of the congressional black caucus but i come to you today in my capacity as a member of the board of the congressional black caucus political action committee. this is a disgusting day. donald trump is a disgusting fraud. by any definition, donald trump is a disgusting fraud!
he started this silliness years ago, by saying that president obama is not an american citizen. he had no proof of it, and so he started this disgusting behavior seven or eight years ago, questioning the president's citizenship. he would not have done that to a mitt romney. he would not have done that to a john mccain or any other white who was running for president of the united states, but he has leveled this criticism against president obama, and so he has now been told by his advisers that he's not going to win the presidency, unless he can reach out to african-american voters. his numbers are in the single digits, and they will remain in the single digits, but his advisers are telling him that, unless he reaches out to african-american voters, he will lose this election. so instead of being the statesman that he should be, instead of going before the cameras today and apologizing to
president obama and apologizing to the american people for his fraudulent behavior he simp limb comes to the microphone and i will quote what he said. he syaid -- "president obama was born in the united states, period." and then he takes his seat and then gives a guided tour of the trump hotel to the news media that was assembled. that is disgusting. the congressional black caucus political action caucus finds it disgusting. every american needs to understand that this man is a fraud, he is an assault to the intellect of the american people. we must deceit him in november. >> thank you, sir. >> to also speak on this deplorable act of donald trump, beaux that's wh
because that's what it was, is jim clyburn. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank all of you for being here. you know, i have been doing a lot of thinking recently about where we are as a country where we have been as a country, and what we can expect in the future as a country. and one of the things that we all are used to in this business is dog whistles, but the thing that we're not used to, and i'm finding it very difficult to get used to, are the howls of wolves. these are howls. these are not whistles. these are in your face kinds of efforts on the part of one man who is utilizing, i should say misusing the media.
indignities upon the president of the united states. this is not just about a contest. a contest for the presidency. this man is on a mission to heap as much insult on this president, to do as much as he possibly can to de-legitimize his presidency, and to play into a narrative that has been floated in this country for over 200 years. a narrative that he is very much a part of trying to fulfill by de-legitimizing this president, and i think that the american people, and hopefully the media, and i used to be a part of the media, and i know how media can be misused, and i will quote that our media will begin to
focus on informing the american people rather than to regurgitate what this man has to say about anything. and so this is very, very serious. because as i said to a lot of people, you will look back on november 9th and we may find ourselves because of what we could have done and did not do, regretting that we failed to do so. so let's not give ourselves any chance of being regrettable or regretful. let's do what is necessary now to expose this man for the fraud that he really is. thank you. >> next is the congresswoman from the great state of california, barbara lee. on the
thank you very much. let me just say that a donald trump's presidential campaign has been based on the birther movement. he founded it. secondly, as we knew, as we heard today, donald trump lies. can we afford a president who lies to develop our agenda as it relates to national security? as it relates to our domestic agenda here in our own country? i don't think so. the world has got to be able to trust somebody in that white house, not someone who continues to lie over and over and over aga again. thirdly, this campaign, unfortunately, we have seen what the birth eer movement really
means and that is to delegitimize our first african-american president. and it's not working. it's not working, but i think that this is a moment, that is defining moment for all of those who want to denounce bigotry and racism to step forward now and to demand first that donald trump stop it but secondly to demand an apology from this man because this is what his presidential campaign has been about. so our work now should be about unifying the country and moving forward with a referendum on bigotry and i think the rest of the country will understand that that's the moment we're in and begin to really see him for the fraud that he is. thank you again. >> from new york, hakeem jeffries. >> i represent the eighth congressional district in new york, i'm proud to serve as the whip of the congressional black caucus. i'm here today in my capacity as a board member of the
congressional black caucus pac. donald trump is nothing more than a two-built racial arsonist who for decades has done nothing but fan the flames of bigotry and hatred. he is someone who from the outset of his career has practiced discrimination. from his time running the trump corporation in the 1970s discriminating against african-americans and latinos in housing, labelling their application with a "c" so they would be set aside and excluded. from his effort in the 1980s where he led the lynch mob against the central park five, four african-american men and one latino who were wrongfully convicted but donald trump wanted to send them to the death penalty. and then, of course, his effort
to lead the birther movement which is nothing more than a fraud designed to appeal to the racist and the bigots and it s xenophobes who want to delegitimize the first black president of the united states of america. if you question donald trump's true motive, exhibit a is his leadership in the birther movement. he's not qualified to be commander in chief. he's a hater in chief and i would urge african-americans and latinos and asian americans and progressive whites and moderates and independents and all decent americans, don't walk to the polls, don't jog to the poll, run to the polls to make sure this hater is not elected as the next president of the united states of america. he owes an apology to president
barack obama. he owes an apology to the african-american community. he owes an apology to the united states of america and he's not man enough to stand in front of a microphone and render it and that's why he's unqualified, as we've seen time in time again to be our commander-in-chief. >> from houston, texas, sheila jackson lee. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. many of us serve on committees, senior member of the judiciary committee and the ranking member on the criminal justice committee, i'm hear re in my capacity as a supporter and member of the congressional black caucus pac. thank you for your leadership. it is important to note that african-americans have had a unique and special journey in the united states of america. we have been enslaved, we have suffered jim crowism, we have se
seen. we have seen the segregated south living as second class citizens. but yet the men and women who are african-americans have risen to serve in the united states milita military. we have sacrificed as first responders across america. we died on 9/11 and we have accepted our full privileges, although we have shed blood for it, for citizenship. i say we have had enough and we are not going to take it anymore. we will not elect a chief bigot to the united states of america. to mr. trump who has debased the presidential contest like no other contest in the history of the united states of america there has never been the lowest level of electioneering that mr.
trump has engaged in. why do i say this? because he could have ended this in a calm and respectful manner after he started these lies yesterday at the "washington post." there were no lights or cameras, it was a simple interview. it was asked a question whether or not the president was an american citizen born in the united states. he could have taken the quiet time to apologize and to indicate as a candidate for the presidency of the united states "i respect all former presidents and existing presidents as my duty and i will indicate what the truth is. "but mr. trump could not bring himself to do so because he has lived a life of bigotry. and so this is our calling to african-americans and the diversity of america -- women included, hispanics, asians, and others, religious diversity as well that if you view america as the land of value and equality and justice, this man cannot be
elect elected. we as african-americans have had enough. he has debated this election but more importantly he has disgraced himself in his lack of the president for the united states of america. so i would simply end my words by saying debasing, mr. representing and lying were a crime. i would offer to say to you that mr. trump could not continue to run for the presidency of the united states because he has committed a crime against the united states and the american people and he has brought down this dignified place of respect and this is when two candidates offer themselves in service, whether you agree with them or not, whether you vote for them or not, you know that they have the ultimate goodness of america in their hearts and minds. today i pronounce that that place of honor remains only in one candidate, for mr. trump has given up his right to have any respect for running as president of the united states of america. he is now unfit.
>> from new york, the dean and founder of the congressional black caucus, charles rangel. this issue is bigger than the politicians, the election, and the press we're really talking about the survival of the united states of america. no one can challenge that when donald trump put out the word that he has reason to believe that this black president was not a citizen, that he knew at the time that he was. when america found out that barack obama was elected, some republican leaders said "our first job is to make certain he's not reelected."
that's political. but there's some people that crawl from under a rock and said "what can we do to make certain that we can destroy this man not four years from now but now?" and what they did was to say we're going to send the signal out that he's not a citizen to remind americans that his father and his ancestors were from africa, reminding name in their minds you have to be a european american in order to become president. what i say is bigger than today and the election. there are other people affected by this other than african-american. there are a lot of people in this country that are not european background and somebody
somewhere will be plotting to say no matter where they're from they're not aspiring to be president by going through what we're going through now. so i say if you're teaching history in the lower grades or are a scholar in the university. if you're a catholic or a protestant or a hindu or muslim or jewish, if you love this country, it's no telling where you are on this list. it's not a black question, it's an american question. so let me thank those of us who immediately affected because of our backgrounds that i do hope this is not reported as a black issue.